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Cisco Slips and Walmart Surges on Earnings | Bloomberg Technology

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Cisco Slips and Walmart Surges on Earnings | Bloomberg Technology

Cisco Earnings Report

  • Cisco's conservative outlook led to a 2% drop in its stock price.
  • CFO Scott Herron discussed the company's recent earnings and provided insights into its business performance.
  • Despite supply chain disruptions, Cisco cleared its backlog and experienced a revenue spike.
  • The company witnessed flat overall orders, with growth in security, data center networking, and campus switching.
  • Cisco reported $1 billion in AI infrastructure orders, primarily for backend networking and optics in large cloud and Tier 2 infrastructure buildouts.
  • Investors reacted positively to Cisco's earnings report, as order declines were not as severe as anticipated.
  • The recent acquisition of Splunk has yet to contribute significantly to Cisco's revenue streams.
  • Cisco is collaborating with Qualcomm to develop a cheaper accelerator alternative to NVIDIA's offerings for AI applications.

Walmart Earnings Report

  • Walmart's results showed a significant jump in its online business, contributing to a 6% increase in its stock price.
  • Walmart reported a 22% year-over-year growth in its online business, driven by improved capabilities such as early morning deliveries, faster shipping, and enhanced order accuracy.
  • Walmart's e-commerce growth rivals that of Amazon, with 4 billion items delivered within the past 12 months through same-day or next-day delivery.
  • Walmart is facing issues with third-party vendors selling fake handbags on its Marketplace platform, affecting customer expectations and growth opportunities.

Market Analysis

  • Chief Global Strategist Seema Shah discusses investor sentiment and the recent record highs in the market.
  • Shah believes the market rally is not solely driven by the "Magnificent Seven" tech stocks but is spreading to other sectors of the economy.
  • Valuations of chip stocks and other tech giants are discussed, with Shah acknowledging that they may seem frothy but not comparable to the Dot-com bubble.
  • The impact of the U.S.-China trade tensions on the technology sector is considered, with Shah suggesting that it could affect individual stocks differently.
  • Shah recommends looking beyond the U.S. for investment opportunities, highlighting Europe and China as attractive regions due to their economic surprises and valuations.

AI in the Workplace

  • The use of AI in the workplace and at home is briefly discussed, with Shah emphasizing its importance in analyzing companies and making informed investment decisions.

Perplexity

  • Perplexity, a company creating a new advisory board, discusses its strategies for scaling up, improving search distribution, and enhancing mobile experiences.
  • Perplexity's CEO, Aravind Srinivas, responds to Google's emphasis on AI integration into search, suggesting that it may be a reaction to Perplexity's success.
  • Srinivas highlights Perplexity's plans to differentiate itself by focusing on categories where Google's incentives are lower, such as shopping, insurance, travel, and education.
  • Perplexity utilizes OpenAI's large language model but believes its approach is superior to Google's due to its separate product strategy and orchestration of multiple models and indexes.
  • Srinivas acknowledges the competition for talent and resources in the AI field and hints at potential future fundraising while emphasizing efficiency and revenue growth.
  • Perplexity prioritizes the number of queries it receives daily as a key metric for growth and is currently in the late single digits for daily active metrics.
  • Perplexity, an AI startup, is considering acquiring smaller startups and is open to being acquired by larger technology companies.

AI and Blockchain

  • A bipartisan AI group released a roadmap to guide Congressional efforts in harnessing AI benefits and mitigating risks, recommending $1 billion in annual government spending on non-defense AI development.
  • Chainlink, a company that links blockchains and brings real-world data on-chain, has been working with Bank of America and Citibank to create on-chain digital assets driven by data.
  • Real-world asset tokenization is gaining institutional interest, with assets backed by data being particularly attractive.
  • Financial institutions have a role to play in ensuring compliance and allowing users to use blockchain products in a way that regulators and central banks find acceptable.
  • Central banks are not going away and will likely become the biggest users of blockchain technology, generating the most assets and payments.
  • The tokenization of core financial products like treasuries and market funds is happening alongside the tokenization of non-securitized assets like carbon credits and real estate.

ServiceNow and Salesforce

  • ServiceNow, a fast-growing software company, is hiring from its larger competitor, Salesforce, in a bid to edge into Salesforce's market share.
  • There are many job offers across the board.
  • It will be interesting to see how the new talent infusion affects companies that have increased their headcount by 3,000 while most companies have cut their workforce by that amount.

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